Archive for July, 2007

Our guests have arrived. They’re eating the floral arrangements.

July 31st, 2007

Those who know me know that I don’t eat meat.

I don’t eat meat for purely sentimental reasons. In other words, I don’t like the idea of killing fwuffy baby wambs. I don’t feel soppy about fish, however, so they are doomed to hit my plate.

I don’t buy the broad stroked “A vegetarian diet is a healthier one” because we evolved as an omnivorous species and therefore meat is part of our natural diet.  It may well be that Western people eat too much meat, but the solution to that is a balanced diet and not one that goes to the opposite extreme. Still, one can live and be functionally healthy on all sorts of diets, without being optimally healthy on a diet that suits your individual nutritional needs and your body’s ability to process food. For example, I can use peanuts as a source of protein and fat. My friend, Pete, on the other hand, can only use them as a source of a particularly distressing visit to the hospital.

I think people should eat what they want to eat without being challenged on the legitimacy of their reasons. I basically don’t eat what I’m not willing to kill myself, but I don’t believe meat is “murder”.

And I certainly don’t think meat eaters are tainted in any way, but not everyone thinks that way. According to research conducted in New Zealand, a growing number of vegans won’t have sex with meat-eaters because their bodies are “made up of dead animals”. Could it be they are taking the terms “pork sword”, “mutton dagger” and “beef curtains” a bit too literally?

Mary Shelley wrote a story about a bloke whose body was made up of dead people, but dead animals? I know many people who eat meat and I’m fairly certain their bodies are made up of living people, rather than dead animals. It’s been a while since I studied biology, but as far as I remember, our cells ultimately contain human DNA and whether you live on lentil soup or raw meat, it’s broken down and rebuilt into human tissue, not animal tissue and not lentil tissue.

Still, a person should shag who they want to shag (assuming mutually consenting adults are involved) and if people who only want to shag vegans only shag other people who only want to shag vegans, well there’s natural selection at work right there.

For those of you who don’t know what a vegan is, here is a definition provided by The Vegetarian Resource Group:

Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. Vegans, in addition to being vegetarian, do not use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products.

Here’s another article that illustrates natural selection at work, sad though the outcome of the story was. I can only conclude that the couple in that article decided they didn’t want their baby to ingest the milk of any kind of animal, including the animal who happened to be the baby’s mother.

Still, I know some vegans and they don’t appear to be bonkers at all.

Bonus points if you can tell me what film the title of this post comes from.

In case I’ve ever lent you anything…

July 30th, 2007

So the Australian authorities have released Dr. Mohamed Haneef.

I thought it odd at the time of his arrest that he had been accused of providing “reckless support to terrorism” because he had given a SIM card to his cousin, who in turn has been accused of involvement in the attempted attack on Glasgow airport. It seemed a tenuous link.

So if I spot someone the price of a cup of coffee one afternoon and that person uses the caffeine within that cup of coffee to keep himself awake while he learns to build an atom bomb on*, am I guilty of recklessly supporting terrorism? According to the Australians I am.

And they seem such down-to-earth people.

Grandmothers everywhere beware! If your grandson is a potential terrorist and you make him a sandwich, you could be up on charges!

* Don’t bother clicking. There is no such website.

Dear God…

July 30th, 2007

How come Your followers can’t share Jerusalem?

Answers via e-mail or burning bush, please.

Musing #17

July 29th, 2007

Why is it that the Swedish only know how to massage bodies and the Indians only know how to massage heads?

Get that cat out of here!

July 26th, 2007

It seems there’s a nursing home in the USA that has a resident cat. The cat isn’t so friendly with patients until they are about to die, then it curls up next to them. I guess it’s a sort of feline banshee.

What are the odds that the most common utterance when the cat appears in someone’s room is: “Oh, shit!”


 Bonus points if you can tell me what film the title of this post comes from.

Leave them alone…

July 25th, 2007

…and they’ll follow us home, wagging their tails behind them*.

I never understood the argument that if the USA pulls its military out of Iraq, Al Qaeda will follow the troops home.

I think Al Qaeda knows how to use Google Maps and they may be many things, but they aren’t dumb. It’s an age old strategem to use misdirection and lead the enemy to one place while you strike them in another. The best time for Al Qaeda to strike the USA, therefore, is while most of its troops are in the Middle East!

It strikes me that 9-11 was more about playing the stock-market than anything else. If it really had been about attacking the USA, surely there would have been several attacks since.

So if they haven’t attacked the USA since 2001, it’s because they haven’t wanted to. Could it be that the average insurgent really does just want the USA to piss off home? Or could it be that the average insurgent is up for a fight in the post-Saddam melee and USA troops are just another faction in a civil war that became inevitable as soon as the USA got rid of the guy with the big moustache.

You can’t create a power vacuum in a state that’s been held together by brutality and not expect an implosion. The civil war was going to happen. I don’t believe having the troops of the USA and other nations there helps the people of Iraq. They are just another faction in a messy faction fight. Perhaps they should just pull out, let the civil war take its course and then enter into diplomatic relations with whoever wins.

Why not? Everyone’s pals with Gadaffi now.

But staying in Iraq isn’t going to keep terrorists out of the USA, Britain or anywhere else if that’s where they want to commit atrocities. If they are fighting in Iraq, it’s because that’s where they want to fight.

 *I don’t believe Muslims have tails.

Google Giggle

July 23rd, 2007

The folk at Google have a sense of humour. Have a look at these directions from Boston to Rio de Janeiro and scroll down to step 32.

Business Attire

July 19th, 2007

A woman can get away with wearing what amounts to t-shirts and open-neck shirts in a formal office environment. In fact, over the years, I’ve seen some female colleagues dress better on dress-down days! Here are some examples of the kinds of things I’ve seen female professionals wearing in the office:
T-shirt Halter Top  Straps Cardigan
Suit Whereas here is what men can get away with.

I’m all for dressing to impress when there is someone to impress, for example, at interviews, presentations to customers, etc., but in the normal course of one’s daily work, whom does this outdated and excessively warm and sweaty mode of dress actually impress?

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Justification for the war in Iraq: Version 3

July 18th, 2007

1. Weapons of Mass Destruction
“Iraq continues to deny it has any WMD, though no serious intelligence service anywhere in the world believes them.”
(Tony Blair, 18th March 2003)

Whereas both the intelligence branch of the Royal Guild of Jesters and the Clown Intelligence Agency did believe them, but nobody would listen.

2. Regime Change and Establishing Democracy
“Who will say that Iraq was better off when Saddam Hussein was strutting and killing or that the world was safer when he held power?”
(George Bush, 19th November, 2003)

Let’s see…

Pre March 2003: a few Iraqis killing a bunch of Iraqis (with weapons supplied by the West) but, barring a short incursion into Kuwait, pretty much leaving the rest of the world alone.

Post May 2003 (remember the “Mission Accomplished” banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln?): four years (and counting) of civil war, a whole bunch of Iraqis and other Arabs killing a whole bunch of other Iraqis and other Arabs, more than 100,000 civilians dead, consequent acts of terrorism in Spain and the UK. Hmmmm…

3. Denying Al-Qaeda a Safe Haven
“I believe we can be in a different position in a while, and that would be to have enough troops there to guard the territorial integrity of that country, enough troops there to make sure that al Qaeda doesn’t gain safe haven from which to be able to launch further attacks against the United States of America…”
(George Bush, 10th July 2007)

If memory serves me well, Al Qaeda didn’t have a safe haven in Iraq prior to May 2003.

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Skip it

July 18th, 2007

I hate Flash intros.

The clue is in the name… they are all flash and no substance.

Why do commercial web sites still use Flash intros? What business value do they add?

If I go to*, it’s because I want information about navel lint removal or I want to purchase or rent a navel lint remover (if it’s an object) or hire the services of a navel lint remover (if it’s a person).

  • Information
  • Product
  • Service

That’s it.

When I go into Navel Lint Removers’ high street premises in person, do I want to wade through dancers and an orchestra and performing seals licking the lint out of each other’s navels? Hmmm… maybe dancers licking the lint out of each other’s navels

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